Best FF That Will Make You Think Twice - and Then Three Times, and Then Send You Out on a Drinking Binge - Before You Decide to Be a Foster Parent: With Six You Get Eggroll, by speranza. Due South, Ray Kowalski/Benton Fraser, Stella Kowalski/Ray Vecchio. This, my friends, is the end-all be-all of kidfic; apparently Ray and Fraser just can't do things by halves, because they end up with six kids in about the amount of time it takes me to commit to a toaster. Speranza takes this whole concept three times around the dance floor, in the process introducing us to some of the more realistic kids I've encountered in FF. She also makes some interesting and believable guesses about how these guys would do as parents. In a way, that's actually one of the best things about kidfic; it's similar to AU fic in that it shows us the essence of the characters by changing their circumstances. Please note that some readers may find parts of "Eggroll" a bit sweet. I did myself, actually. But the humor and the situation make it all worthwhile.
Best FF That May Send You Scurrying for Additional Birth Control Options (and, If You Are Male, Induce Some Thoughtful Back-Dating): Another Mode of Belonging, by grit kitty. The Sentinel, Jim/Blair. This story fills a need I didn't even realize this canon had. See, the essence of TS is that Jim pretty much co-opts Blair. Seriously. Blair ends up doing Jim's work, living in Jim's house, coping with Jim's senses. And then, in the last episode, Blair loses the last vestiges of his own life. After I read "Belonging," I realized that parity could only be achieved by having some part of Blair's life overtake Jim. And that's exactly what grit kitty has happening here. Best part of this story is definitely Jim's mixed emotions and reactions to the presence of Blair's kid in his life; I don't think this could get any more realistic.
Best FF Featuring a Chase Scene in Which One Party Is Encumbered, Not to Mention Ensmelled, by a Baby: Not My Baby, by dsudis. Buffy the Vampire Slayer*, gen. Unfortunate spell hijinks result in a baby version of Dawn. Spike steps in as vampire-dad-for-a-day (well, night, really) and copes with various problems both mundane and, um, smelly. This story will be especially good for those of you who have long believed that people with young children are pretty much undead anyway; you'll be able to see a blood-sucker instead of a zombie in the parent role for a change.
Best FF That Makes Me Want to Send Angry Comments to the Author Deploring Her Apparent Desire to Destroy Every Last Standard I Have Ever Had: Five Things That Never Happened: The World Turned Upside Down, by shalott, aka astolat. Master & Commander, Aubrey/Maturin. Did I promise there would be no MPreg in this set? I certainly did not. Though, in fact, this is not technically MPreg. It's genderswitch. After all, the person who gets pregnant is functionally female. The curse of shalott rides again; this is an abhorrent idea and I'm embarrassed I read it, let alone nominated it, but, um, it's, well...good. Look, blame her, OK? I only read what others write. Be aware that in addition to genderswitching, an odd version of MPreg, and a serious AU, this story also contains het. After a fashion. And I flatly refuse to say any more about it; read it, and then we can all pretend this nomination never happened.
* Please note that I am warily dipping my toes in the BtVS fandom yet again. Every previous excursion has ended with me waving my hands around and saying, "How the hell am I supposed to understand this? I don't have time to get a freaking doctorate in Buffylore!" This time, though, my Best Beloved has nobly volunteered to watch the whole series and then teach me the basics. I'm hoping this will, in time, allow me to know the canon and love the fandom**, but right now I've just gotten started and BB is only on season two. So what I'm saying is, essentially, any BtVS I nominate may or may not be in character or in canon, 'cause right now I barely know the names of the major players, and I wouldn't know a canon deviation if it bit Buffy on the neck.
** What is the fandom? Love is the fandom. What is the fandom? The fandom is death. Sorry, sorry, but I couldn't resist.